A Catholic Deacon justified Mass Murder

and no one noticed or cared. The details are in my previous post, Response to Deacon Jim Russell on Combatants and Double Effect. Deacon Russell proposes that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki can possibly be justified by the principle of double effect. This proposal openly contradicts the general teaching of the Church on destroying whole cities:

“The principle of humanity inscribed in the conscience of every person and all peoples includes the obligation to protect civil populations from the effects of war.” [Pontifical Council For Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 505]

“Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2314; quoting Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes 80, n. 3]

And it contradicts the specific pronouncements of two recent Popes:

Pope Saint John Paul II: “Your country remembers the painful episodes of the Second World War that struck countless innocent victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Pope Benedict XVI: “I also greet the group of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I pray that the world may never again witness such mass destruction of innocent human life.”

And yet the article was published, and received much support from many Catholics. There was no outcry against this deacon for justifying the killing of “countless innocent victims” and the “mass destruction of innocent human life.” The teaching of the Church that such an act is “a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation,” was perverted by this public declaration of a Catholic deacon that somehow the principle of double effect (badly misunderstood by him) would render the above teachings and pronouncements irrelevant.

He continues to give sermons at Catholic Mass. He continues to receive Communion, even though he is guilty of objective mortal sin for rejecting the above quoted teaching of the Church (CCC 2314 and GS 80), for teaching the heresy that the mass destruction of innocent human life can be justified by the principle of double effect, for the grave sin of formal cooperation with mass murder by his public approval of those murders, and for the sin of scandal. He continues to speak and write publicly, as if he were fit to teach his fellow Catholics on faith and morals, when in fact he has so badly misunderstood Church teaching, that he thinks it may have been moral to drop nuclear bombs on two cities.

The conservative Catholic subculture has usurped the Magisterium. And after doing so, it began to twist and distort the moral teachings of Christ and His Church so severely as to make it seem as if grave sins could be justified by moral principles. The sheep are being led by wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they don’t seem to mind. If a faithful shepherd approaches them with the truth, they bite and kick him, and then flee instead to their favorite wolves.

Why is no objection raised, to this wicked false teaching of deacon Russell, by other Catholics who write posts and articles? He is accepted by the conservative Catholic subculture, so he is above criticism. The conservative Catholic subculture pretends to rule over the Church, in place of the Pope. If Pope Francis says anything other than what conservatives wish to hear, he is excoriated from all sides. But the wolves in sheep’s clothing who lead the conservative Catholic subculture are above reproach.

Teachers will have the stricter judgment from God.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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9 Responses to A Catholic Deacon justified Mass Murder

  1. Jim says:

    Ron–you jumped the shark with this column. Several years back I was talking to a former marine who was in our church group. He had participated in several of the landings in the Pacific in WWII, he had participated in Inchon in Korea and was even in Vietnam retiring after 25 years in the Marines. We got to talking about the atomic bombing, the ethics and so on. He described what they went through on these beach landings, what a huge force was preparing to land in Japan. The preparations they were making the utter destruction, and massive loss of life that was going to take place in Japan–lives both American and Japanese. He said they were anticipating up to 250,000 American casualties. Just from the invasion. Let me just say–the A Bomb caused a merciful SAVING of life. This revisionist history under the cloak of moral dogma is nonsense.kj

    • Ron Conte says:

      The end does not justify the means. This teaching is a required belief in the Catholic faith. It is found in Scripture. It is not the case that any act at all can be justified by a good intention, or by good effects that outweigh the bad effects. Some acts are always wrong to choose. If you reject this teaching, you are not disagreeing with me, but with the Church.

  2. Guest says:

    By the same teaching that the ends do not justify the means and the teachings on just war I conclude that the massacre of Jerusalem in the first Crusade was not glorious but in fact evil. This makes me an enemy of conservative Catholics.

  3. Alex Lim says:

    Had there been no HIroshima or Nagasaki, who knows when WWII would end in the Pacific

    • Ron Conte says:

      According to the teaching of Pope Saint John Paul II and the Catechism, intrinsically evil acts are never justified, regardless of circumstances.

  4. Alex Lim says:

    When God destroyed the people including their babies and livestock behind the Walls of Jericho. When God himself ordered King Saul to destroy the Amalekites, including their babies and livestock. When God destroyed the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, When God flooded the entire world to kill even innocent children and babies during the time of Noah. This makes the Deacon correct in saying that such mass killings can be justified in order to REMOVE a much GREATER Evil that has the potential the destroy MORE people. This is NOT Murder, but a part of JUST WAR, when the only thing that could end the evil is OVERWHELMING FORCE.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Your position is abject heresy. It is the heresy of proportionalism, and it is also heresy because you reject the teaching that some acts are always wrong, regardless of intention or circumstances. Although you are not calling the bombings murder, it is mass murder under Church teaching — which you openly reject. And there is no Church teaching that “overwhelming force” justifies killing innocents or an entire city.

      God can take any and all lives, since He is God. He gives life, and He takes it away. We cannot appropriate to ourselves the power or authority to take innocent life, as you suggest.

  5. Alex Lim says:

    The deacon must be referring to unfettered real EVIL where commensurate force will not do. Commensurate force could only prolong a JUST WAR and cause MORE innocent lives to be lost. When dealing with evil, the only thing that can stop them is OVERWHELMING FORCE. When St. Michael dealt with Lucifer and his minions, He never used commensurate force, God was with the Archangel Michael. And God is an OVERWHELMING force, against which Lucifer and his minions never had any chance.

    • Ron Conte says:

      There are three fonts of morality in Church teaching: intention, object, circumstances. An act with an evil object — such as the mass destruction of innocent life — is never justifiable. Moreover, in the circumstances, force must always be proportionate. Your claim that overwhelming force is justified, regardless of the moral object, is contrary to the moral teaching of the Church.

      St. Michael, the archangel, does not kill innocents. And it is not even true that God sends the holy angels to use overwhelming force against the devils. He does not sent all the angels, nor the highest angels, but only an archangel (second lowest choir) and the angels he leads (lowest choir).

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